Staff photographer Michael DeMocker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports via Twitter that former Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot and killed in New Orleans late Saturday night.
DeMocker attributes to unidentified witnesses the news that Smith has died and his wife was wounded. One photo posted by DeMocker shows former Saints running back Pierre Thomas at the scene, “distraught” at the news that Smith was murdered.
The most recent item on the Times-Picayune website reports that a man was killed and a woman was injured in a shooting, but the article does not as of this posting identify the victims.
Twitter currently is buzzing with the news. Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, a New Orleans native who played college football at LSU, has acknowledged the news. Also, “RIP Will Smith” is trending.
Smith posted on Instagram earlier Saturday a photo from the French Quarter Fest in New Orleans.
A first-round pick in 2004, Smith played nine years for the Saints. He had a career-high 13 sacks in 2009, a season that culminated in the franchise’s only NFL championship.
If the report from the Times-Picayune is accurate, we extend our condolences to Smith, his family, friends, teammates, and colleagues.
UPDATE 2:05 a.m. ET: The online article posted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune now confirms that Will Smith was killed in the shooting, according to New Orleans police.